The climate crisis increases poverty

Imagine that you are a farmer and have managed to earn a small amount of money with which you can buy seeds. It may only be a single sack of seeds, but you know that that particular sack will be able to produce a harvest that will feed your family for the next six months. Imagine walking and waiting for the rain that must come to make the dry ground receptive to the seeds. But it won’t. Despite the fact that every previous year it has come at the same time. You watch days go by and know that if you can’t plant the seeds NOW, it will be too late. They will not have time to grow up and mature before the growing season is over. And you know you won’t be able to feed your children enough.

The climate crisis causes scenarios like this and similar ones worldwide.

Those who live in poverty do not have as many opportunities to find solutions to adapt to a changing climate. Unpredictable and extreme climate affects the income opportunities of all who depend on natural resources for their survival. People already living in poverty are often directly dependent on forests, land, waterways and oceans for survival. They are therefore hit extra hard by climate change and environmental destruction – and poverty increases.

The climate crisis also affects people in cities. Poorly built housing in slums cannot withstand floods, cyclones and torrential downpours, and even here income opportunities and infrastructure can be threatened.